For the nighttime chase scenes, the headlights of the trucks and cars were replaced by aircraft landing lights for extra brightness. This helped to bring down the exposure enough to keep the sky consistently black even at early dawn.
Was renamed 'Road Kill' in the UK, since taking a 'Joy Ride' is not the pleasant journey it is in the states, rather the name for when youths steal cars and race each other or the cops and eventually total and dump the car. Similarly, the film was also renamed Roadkill in Australia.
To avoid the unpleasant effects of having to remove Scotch tape from Leelee Sobieski's hair and skin after the take, she was tied up with a strong, thick plastic film (like thick Saran Wrap) which looked like tape and stuck almost like tape, but which was glueless, making its removal simple and fuss-free.
During the course of the movie, watch the LED signal strength indicator lights on the brothers' CB radio. The first four indicator lights change colors in nearly every scene, including bright green, dark green, yellow, red, and crimson. This is obviously intentional and not a series of continuity errors.
In one scene, a seemingly maniacal ICE truck pulls up to a gas station that the brothers have pulled up to. In Duel (1971), a likewise maniacal truck pulls up to our hero (David Mann) and a small billboard for ICE is visible in the background.
The Hazen Market is located roughly 40 miles east of Reno on highway 50 in Hazen, Nevada. It closed in 2008 after roughly 70 years of operation because changes to Highway 50 made it difficult for travelers to stop there.
Joy Ride and Joy Ride 2 are both littered with alumni from the series Supernatural. In the first Joy Ride, Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer on S'pn) plays the Sheriff. In Joy Ride 2, Mackenzie Gray (The Djinn on S'pn) played a bartender, Gardiner Millar (Marv and a Wraith, 2 different eps of S'pn) plays the Mortician, while one of the film's main characters, Melissa, is played by Nicki Aycox (Meg 1.0 from S'pn).
In the ending where Rusty Nail's truck explodes, you can see a water tower behind the truck as it burns. The original intention was to have the truck hit the water tower and have the water come down and put the flames out so that it would be believable if Rusty Nail survived. However, time constraints kept the scene from being filmed. The water tower cost over $100,000.